Why do people use "http://fr.ee/" in their emails?

12 replies
I have noticed that in several emails I get from a variety of marketers there is the use of the term "http://fr.ee/". which has the anchor text FR.EE with it.

Is there a particular purpose to this as I can't see any benefit myself and the link doesn't actually go anywhere.

Just thinking aloud, does it allow the word fr.ee through the spam filters?

Ideas?

Mark
#emails #http or or free or #people
  • Profile picture of the author B3n
    Mostly because they are idiots.
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  • Profile picture of the author keepitsimple
    That's a straight answer!
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  • Profile picture of the author J.Knight
    If you mean they use the word 'fr.ee' and they hyperlink it to a download or whatever, then the reason they do that is to protect themselves against the spam filters which look out for words like 'free' sometimes.

    JK
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    • Profile picture of the author Joshua Uebergang
      Fr.ee tries to get past spam filters, but this is often counter-productive. Think of the mum who sends a simple email to her daughter about a free gift on her website. It is ridiculous for spam filters to filter out her email based on that word. What is more reasonable for spam filters is to filter out fr.ee because 1) someone using fr.ee has knowledge about bypassing spam filters and 2) spammers use all soughts of character mixtures synonymous with fr.ee. Fr.ee also destroys the credibility and clarity of your message.
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  • Profile picture of the author TimRobinson
    I've never had a problem using the word "free" in my emails.

    No idea why others do it. I think it was one of those "theoretical maybe the spam filters are blocking my message" things, then everyone started doing it because everyone else does it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Stanley Tang
      Originally Posted by Wayne Liew View Post

      Well, using fr.ee instead of free will actually prevents the mail from getting into your Junk folder as most spam mails contain the word free.
      Trust me. It's a myth. I doubt if somebody emails their friend and ask them "are you free tonight" will get it into the spam folder.

      Originally Posted by Joshua Uebergang View Post

      Fr.ee tries to get past spam filters, but this is often counter-productive. Think of the mum who sends a simple email to her daughter about a free gift on her website. It is ridiculous for spam filters to filter out her email based on that word. What is more reasonable for spam filters is to filter out fr.ee because 1) someone using fr.ee has knowledge about bypassing spam filters and 2) spammers use all soughts of character mixtures synonymous with fr.ee. Fr.ee also destroys the credibility and clarity of your message.
      Absolutely. I just use free no dots. Just write it the way you write a friend. You wouldn't be thinking of trying to come up with methods to get pass the spam filter?
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    • Profile picture of the author J.Knight
      Originally Posted by TimRobinson View Post

      I've never had a problem using the word "free" in my emails.
      Yeah, I'm subscribed to people who use 'free' and others who use 'fr.ee'.

      Neither have a problem getting through.

      JK
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  • Profile picture of the author keepitsimple
    My observation is that the major email providers, eg Google, have very effective spam detectors, as almost every thing that ends up in my spam box is spam.

    The hyperlinked term in the email in question containing the word 'fr.ee' only goes to http://fr.ee/ which makes no sense as there is no such domain. And I've noticed it in several emails.

    Interesting
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  • Profile picture of the author Hendry Lee
    It used to be a rule in at least one spam filter, if memory serves me well. But the exact words is FREE (in bold) instead of lower case.

    As to the hyperlink, that is a bug (or feature?) in email apps that think it is a domain and thus turns it into a hyperplink.
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  • Profile picture of the author darrenw
    Almost ALL good autoresponders have a SPAM filters that alert you of spam potential text. Have things like FRE.E or FR33 is common.

    The trick though is not to have the word FREE in your mails...Re-word it a better way.

    People get fed up with FREE and you do get a lot of tire kickers after FREE items all the time.

    Trust me as I have a lists full of them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Adrian Jock
      No major spam filter ever penalized the use of the word "free". There are some major spam filters, including Spam Assassin, that penalize some combinations of words that include the word free.

      Instead of reading spam filters' documentations that are available online for free (see for example Spam Assassin's documentation), many email marketers and ezine publishers started years ago to write not professional versions such as f.r.e.e, f.ree, fr33 and so on. Others seeing what those did ... started to do the same and mispell the word free. You know the copy & paste type of person. "If that guru does it, I have to do it too." (= If that guru is dumb, then I want to be too )

      Then some "smater" persons made some software programs based on such wrong assumptions and they sold their software. Many people bought such poor software and they use it even these days. They say, "I have a state-of-the-art software that helps me" ... Oh, yeah! I've tested some of these programs and I had a good laugh. One of them claims that my first name (Adrian) is penalized by spam filters. You know why? Because it contains the word "ad" and in the programmer's wrong opinion this word is penalized too.

      Well, that's it!
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